4 Montreal to Caribbean - All Viking Ocean Viking Sea Cruise Reviews

We boarded the Viking Sea at Montreal on a Friday morning and oh mon dieu, such first impressions. Lined up at the quay, with its prow facing the old port, the ship projected a sleek profile, befitting a vessel built for only 930 ... Read More
We boarded the Viking Sea at Montreal on a Friday morning and oh mon dieu, such first impressions. Lined up at the quay, with its prow facing the old port, the ship projected a sleek profile, befitting a vessel built for only 930 passengers. The sense of elegance and style was reinforced in a stroll around the public spaces: clean, straight-lined Nordic design and decor with windows shooting light on the soft blue hues of the carpeting and the grains in the flooring. Nothing dark, red or tufted. Lunch in the World Cafe on deck 7 and another impression. What was that across the river? It was an intriguing cluster of gigantic concrete blocks, that looked like they had been layered, squeezed together and discarded by a giant who had been playing with his Legos. In fact, it turned out to be the creation of an architectural student who had indeed used Lego pieces to work out his groundbreaking concept for a complex of 150-odd apartments. It was to be called Habitat 67 and it was built for Expo '67. His project was in keeping with the brutalist style of architecture that apparently did not catch on, yet there it was piled 12 stories high, commanding the embankment. Montreal clearly had a lot to offer. The next day's guided, complimentary tour proved the point: insights into the influences of French, English and Scottish cultures, cobbled streets, lined with boutiques and flower boxes at every corner, and, most rewarding, the embracing spirituality of the Basilica of Notre Dame. We took a short bus ride to Mont Real and there we took in the fall colors of the maples.. Sunday morning and another arresting view: the skyline of Quebec City, looking down on the harbor. The included tour was switched from a bus excursion to a walk-around because this was the day for a marathon, which in itself was an attraction. They ran in leggings with packs on their backs over aged, weathered streets that wound from the lower town to the upper and then on to goodness knows where. It was a route our guide eschewed as she led us to the funicular, which hauled us from the Petit Quartier Champlain to the iconic Hotel Frontenac above. Farther upriver we cruised and into a fjord. Now we are in Saguenay, with little between it and the Arctic. This time our shore excursion took in a stirring community show with schoolchildren and their elders celebrating the history of the city and the resilience of its people in song and dance. From Saguenay to Gaspé, where the tour to the Forillon National Park was a disappointment. It was late in the season, nippy, and the park was closed. But we did see more fall colors. Halifax and another complimentary bus tour, which included a stop at the cemetery where victims of the Titanic disaster were buried and, even more poignantly, victims of the Halifax Explosion. On Dec. 6, 1917 two ships, one laden with explosives, collided in the harbor and at 9:04 in the morning there was an explosion that killed 2,000 and injured 9,000 in a blink. Step off the bus, visit the maritime museum and your heart will be broken. In Boston another included excursion of the historic sites but it was shivering cold when we got off the bus and waited for the shuttle. We had been to Boston before. Why hadn't we brought gloves? The next morning we sailed into New York, the Explorers' Lounge at the bow being the place to be. There a cruise ambassador served up a practiced commentary laden with anecdotes. Apparently, Alistair Cooke, the British-American journalist who hosted PBS' Masterpiece Theatre in the 1970s and 1980s, once said that he knew all would be well in the world, even after the devastation of World War II, when he sailed aboard the Queen Mary into New York Harbor in 1946. We were about to see the 2018 version of what he meant and we did. After each excursion we were always glad to return to the ship. After all, that's where the food was: the buffet in the World Cafe, the many fine choices in the restaurant, the Italian dishes in Manfredi's or the Asian cuisine in the Chef's Table. Manfredi's and the Chef's Table required reservations, but the main restaurant did not. It was open seating and there were no formal sittings timed in conjunction with the evening shows. We could enjoy our meal and casual and sometimes spirited conversations with fellow travelers. "We voted for Brexit," one woman confided, her husband nodding in agreement. "My daughter called the next day and asked how we voted, but when I told her she said, 'Oh, mother. How could you'?" We missed the ventriloquist, though we heard he was excellent; we attended nearly all the lectures on the history of the ports, plus a screening of the Metropolitan Opera's production of "Aida." On the Viking Sea you'll find books throughout the ship. There's a fine library in the Explorers' Lounge, the very best space on the ship. What you won't find anywhere is a casino, a climbing wall or a water slide or anyone wandering about looking for such. But you will find a verandah outside your cabin (every cabin has one) and a heated floor in the bathroom. Just what you want when you step out of the shower. Read Less
Sail Date October 2018
Beautiful ship, great staff, terrific food but: rooms are small, hallways are freezing!, some of the excursions we were on were not well described, ie. inappropriate for anyone with even a small disability, (one cruise excursion was so ... Read More
Beautiful ship, great staff, terrific food but: rooms are small, hallways are freezing!, some of the excursions we were on were not well described, ie. inappropriate for anyone with even a small disability, (one cruise excursion was so bumpy it was actually dangerous trying to disembark....sea conditions should have been reviewed). Most excursions were well executed but there was often a chaotic scene getting on and off the ship, way too many people per excursion. As was mentioned in another review, hair dryer didn't work with bathroom plug and had to hold it in plug in the cabin. I tried a few of them. Not tragic, just annoying. As was mentioned in another review, very little on board activities and what is offered is redundant from day to day. They were unable to exchange money from one country to another. Strange given we were in many countries that didn't use euros. I would give this ship a few years to get out the kinks. Could be improved to be an excellent cruise. Read Less
Sail Date September 2018
We love Viking. The ships are immaculately maintained, the crew holds itself to very high standards, and the dining is exceptional. The Viking Sea is no exception to this. However, we were very disappointed with our shore excursion ... Read More
We love Viking. The ships are immaculately maintained, the crew holds itself to very high standards, and the dining is exceptional. The Viking Sea is no exception to this. However, we were very disappointed with our shore excursion experience. And upfront I'm going to say that as this cruise was the very first time Viking had ever been to these ports, and therefore no experience to rely on, maybe my expectations were a little high. The problems we encountered were with excursion providers that Viking has never dwelt with before and probably won't be using again. We arrived several days early in Montreal and therefore passed on any of the excursions that stayed in Montreal. We took an "optional" excursion to a sugar shack to taste and learn about the production of Maple syrup. This is the only excursion that we fully enjoyed. It went well and I would highly recommend it to future cruisers. Our next stop was Quebec. This is where our non-satisfactory experiences started. We opted for an excursion that was billed as a stroll through lower Quebec followed by a ride in the funicular to upper Quebec where we would catch a ride in a horse drawn carriage for a tour of upper Quebec. As it turned out, our walking part of the tour was a race through lower Quebec, up the funicular, then a quick march further up the hill to a park where we caught our carriage ride. This was all because not enough time was given for us to get to the scheduled carriage ride. Ugh!!! Next stop on the cruise was Sagueny. This was the only rainy day on our trip. We opted for the included excursion which hauled a large percentage of the Viking Sea passengers to a large auditorium/theater where the locals re-enacted the local history complete with horses and cannons. As this is a French speaking community, Viking had requested that the re-enactment be done in English for us. This was done with a voice over that included all of the singing. The English speaking was a real help, however, the singing really should have not been translated to English. It would have been a lot more enjoyable in French, even if I couldn't understand it. The battle re-enactments didn't hold back on the cannon fire and accompanying smoke. For me this was way too loud, I had to resort to holding my fingers in my ears, and the smoke caused my asthma to flare. This was all unexpected as I haven't had an asthma attack in years. I managed to catch an early bus back to the ship to get my asthma inhaler. Our next stop was scheduled to be Prince Edward Island. However, due to a preceived abundance of whales in the area, Canada limited our cruising speed to 10 kts. This speed precluded our ability to make it there and an itinerary change was instituted taking us to Gaspe instead. Gaspe is a small port, nothing quaint about it. Mostly modern buildings in the town. The included tour took us on a bus to a nearby national forest with views of the changing colors along the way. We got to stop in the park at a bay with a boat dock and ramp. It was a nice stop, but not much to do than streach your legs and take some pictures. We then followed the road to the end and headed back to the ship. On our way back we were allowed to stop at a church where we had some very good views of the hills and color change in the trees. Again, nice to stop and take some pictures. Back to the ship. On leaving port, the city gave us a sendoff with a fireworks show. Next stop was Halifax. Our tour took us to Peggy's Cove. A very picturesque little touristy hamlet. This excursion went pretty well. On to Boston. Boston was a disaster!!! The bus company that Viking hired to take us on our included excursion was supposed to provide both a driver and a guide. The buses arrive with no guides and the union drivers were not receptive to Vikings requests for continuous service. All buses would be taking breaks for lunch and diner at the same time. Can't blame Viking to trying on this. However, Viking screwed up when they didn't let everyone know what was happening. They decided to continue as if nothing were wrong and only told the passengers the problem with not tour guides when they arrived at their assigned departure points. Vikings adjustment was to tell everyone the problem and let them know that the buses would take them to a common drop-off point in the city only. I dare say that everyone would have made some adjustments to their plans if they knew ahead of time. Our tour was scheduled for 1:30 in the afternoon. So we took a shuttle into town in the morning for a quick look around. Then returned to the ship for lunch to be followed with our tour at 1:30. Had we been told of the problem earlier we would have stayed in town, had a local lunch and spent a lot more time walking the Freedom Trail. Last stop was New York. We took two tours. One during the day, an included bus tour of the city. We stopped at the 9/11 memorial and Battery Park, And one after dark that include a stop across the river for some night time pictures. And then a stop to go up to the observation deck of the Empire State Building. Both tours went off with hitches. Read Less
Sail Date October 2017
We chose this cruise for an interest in seeing parts of Canada and seeing 911 site, The World Trade Center in NYC which we have been wanting to see for a long time. And what better time than hopefully during fall's peak colors. We ... Read More
We chose this cruise for an interest in seeing parts of Canada and seeing 911 site, The World Trade Center in NYC which we have been wanting to see for a long time. And what better time than hopefully during fall's peak colors. We really enjoyed the cruise. Our accommodations were perfect. The food, service, different dining possibilities were wonderful, delicious.We really enjoyed the spa area and even went into the snow room after the steam room. Viking is so organized and transportation transfers, excursions all worked smoothly. We were pampered. The ship is beautiful and we like a smaller ship than the bigger cruise lines. A wonderful experience. We are sailing with them to Russia in August and do their Mediteraniun cruise next year. Love Viking. I have a food allergy. Each day I was given the next days menu. I would choose my preferences and hand it in to br reviews by the chef to be sure my needs were met and I was safe Read Less
Sail Date October 2017
Viking Sea Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 5.0 4.8
Dining 5.0 4.6
Entertainment 3.5 4.2
Public Rooms 5.0 4.9
Fitness Recreation 4.5 4.4
Family 1.0 4.4
Shore Excursion 4.0 4.2
Enrichment 4.0 4.4
Service 5.0 4.8
Value For Money 5.0 4.4

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